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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAHX

Displacement 2395 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 348' 4"(oa) x 36' 1" x 13' 2" (Max)
Armament 4 x 5"/38AA, 6 x 0.5" MG, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 50,000 SHP; Bethlehem Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 208.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, NY January 29 1941.
Launched December 19 1941 and commissioned May 11 1942.
Decommissioned May 2 1946.
Stricken June 1 1968.
Fate Sunk as target off Florida November 4 1969.
Bailey earned 9 battle stars during the war.

Fourteen men died in service aboard and remain on duty

WT2c Kenneth William Aten (311 31 96) USN, Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943
CMM(AA) Alexander Henry Gromko (207 00 04) V-6 USNR, Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943
SC1c Theodore Thronton Hinkle (632 19 50) V-6 USNR, Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943
MM1c Robert Joseph Kimble (279 57 98) USN, Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943
ENS LeRoy Ellis Whitehead (O-188013) E-V(G) USNR, Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943
LT(jg) John Richard Heffernan (O-184868) D-V(G) USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
S2c William Alonzo Knauss (851 59 72) V-6 USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
S2c William Ellsworth Leach (631 07 23) V-6 USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
LT(jg) Robert Jerome Lusk (O-187383) D-V(G) USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
GM3c Bernard Leo Magrath (472 67 45) V-6 USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
BM1c Charles Percy Mason (262 28 13) USN, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
ENS George Lester Mendenhall, Jr. (O-270783) E-V(S) USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
S1c Earl Joseph Roesch (645 61 92) V-6 USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944
Y2c Coy Carter Vandiver (616 71 97) V-6 USNR, off Angaur Island, Palau, 01 October 1944

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Bailey 73kRear Admiral Theodorus Bailey was born in Chateaugay, New York, 12 April 1805, entering the navy as a midshipman in January 1818. He was commended for energy, enterprise, and gallantry in the Mexican-American War. Appointed captain in 1855, he was made Commodore in July 1862, and rear-admiral on the retired list, July 1866. In 1861 Captain Bailey was in command of Colorado, in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Later he took command of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. He was instrumental in developing a primitive "thruster system," the principles of which are still in use today. A pipe could direct water to one side of the ship or another, which caused the ship to be able to move with more agility in the high seas. Today, ships use this principle in thruster systems. Rear Admiral Bailey died at Washington, D. C., 10 February 1877.

Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Bill Gonyo

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the


for service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces off Komandorski Islands, Bearing Sea, on March 26, 1943. With the only heavy cruiser of our small task force dead in the water following a fierce three-and-one-half-hour battle, the U.S.S. BAILEY led a determined torpedo attack against the superior Japanese surface force which was still closing our ships. Unprotected by friendly aircraft and without benefit of darkness or a smoke screen, she steamed forward at maximum speed, leading two other destroyers through a heavy barrage of hostile gunfire and concentrating her fire on the enemy’s leading heavy cruiser. Struck in rapid succession by two 8-inch shells and damaged by numerous near hits as she closed to within 9,000 yards, she launched five torpedoes and turned to retire just before two additional shell hits flooded her and rendered one engine inoperative. The only destroyer to release her torpedoes, the BAILEY succeeded in damaging one heavy cruiser and in turning back an overwhelming enemy force at the most crucial point of the battle. Her meritorious record of achievement is evidence of her own readiness for combat and the gallantry and seamanship of her officers and men."
All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. BAILEY on March 26, 1943, are authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
USS Bailey (DD-492)
Bailey 103kUndated WW2 image, location unknown.David Buell
Bailey 69kUndated WW2 image, location unknown. Taken from the 1966/67 Edition of Jane's Fighting Ships.Robert Hurst
Bailey 90kLaunching at Staten Island, 19 December 1941. The keel for Beale (DD-471) is being laid in the foreground.Ron Reeves
Bailey 623kCommissioning ceremony for Bailey (DD-492) at New York Navy Yard, 11 May 1942. LCDR Franklin D. Karns, Jr., Bailey's first commanding officer, is at center. The officer reading orders is probably Rear Admiral Edward J. Marquart, New York Navy yard's commandant.
East Carolina University Digital Collections, catalog no. 0759-b1-fc
David Wright
Bailey 823kUSS Bailey (DD-492) underway on 12 December 1942, taken by a plane from USS Chenango (CVE-28). Bailey was underway, patrolling off the Aleutian Islands as part of Task Group 8.6. Note the extra high casing on number 2 stack, which was apparently unique to this ship.
Photographed by PhoM2/c J.S. Springer, USN. National Archives photo 80-G-264956.
Tony Cowart/Robert Hurst/Mike Green
Bailey 33kUSS Bailey (DD-492) while participating in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, 26 March 1943.Robert Hurst
Bailey 132kBattle damage to USS Bailey (DD-492) upon her arrival at Mare Island, 09 April 1943. Bailey was hit four times by Japanese cruiser fire during the battle of the Komandorski Islands, flooding her forward engineroom and killing one officer and three enlisted men, one more subsequently dying of his wounds.Darryl Baker
Bailey 85kPlan view (forward) of USS Bailey (DD-492) at Mare Island, 02 July 1943. Circled areas were modified at the yard during the overhaul period from 8 April until 13 July 1943.Darryl Baker
Bailey 118kPlan view (aft) of USS Bailey (DD-492) at Mare Island, 02 July 1943. Circled areas were modified at the yard during the overhaul period from 8 April until 13 July 1943.Darryl Baker
Bailey   Bailey   Bailey
Three views of the USS Bailey (DD-492) in the Mare Island channel, 04 July 1943. Bailey was underway that day for post-repair dock trials and radar calibration.
Darryl Baker
Bailey 110kUSS Bailey (DD-492) at Mare Island, 04 July 1943. Photo from NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files.Tracy White
Bailey 127kNaval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) plan for the invasion of Saipan, 15 June 1944.Wayne VanDerVoort
Bailey 93kBroadside view of USS Bailey (DD-492) showing strafing damage, November 1944. Navy photo 7525-44Darryl Baker
Bailey   Bailey   Bailey   Bailey
Four views of the USS Bailey in a post-yard overhaul series from December 1944. Her overhaul seems to be one of the last occasions that a dazzle scheme pattern was introduced to a tin can.
Photos from National Archives 19-LCM files.
Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine
Bailey 78kBow on view of USS Bailey (DD-492) off Mare Island, 08 December 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 25 Oct. until 11 Dec 1944.
Navy Photo 7527-44
Darryl Baker
Bailey 81kStern view of USS Bailey (DD-492) off Mare Island, 08 Dec 1944. Navy Photo 7532-44Darryl Baker
Bailey 71kUSS Bailey (DD-492) at Mare Island, 08 December 1944. Photo from NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files.Tracy White
Bailey 375kUSS Bailey (DD-492) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 08 December 1944. She is painted in what appears to be a variant of Camouflage Measure 31, Design 6D. Note the high casing around the lower part of the after smokestack, a feature unique to this ship.
Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107415.
Robert Hurst
Bailey 98kUSS Bailey (DD-492) rescuing two Navy filers in the central Pacific, 31 January 1945. A TBM-1C had run out of fuel and ditched the day before between Guam and Ulithi while on a ferry flight; in poor weather, a PBY "Dumbo" search plane of VPB-23 vectored Bailey in to rescue the two, LT C.C. Taylor, USNR of CASU 51 and LT James E. Nafstad, USNR, of ComNAB Guam staff, at 1645, after they had spent more than 24 hours in the water.Dave Wright

USS BAILEY DD-492 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
01LCDR Franklin Duke Karns, Jr. (USNA 1925) 111 May 1942 - 04 July 1942
02LCDR John Conner Atkeson (USNA 1927)04 July 1942 - 03 June 1943
03CDR Malcolm Townsend Munger (USNA 1932)03 June 1943 - 06 December 1944
04CDR Arthur Ferdinand Johnson (USNA 1938)06 December 1944 - 02 May 1946
1. Relieved for running his new command aground on Cow Island Ledge, Maine, during shakedown, 06 June 1942.
Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Carmen Putrelo
Address: 299 Vin Rose Circle SE, Palm Bay, FL 32909
Phone: 407-951-8936
E-mail: None

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Bailey Website
Forgotten Valor: The Charge of USS Bailey, 26 March 1943
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 19 July 2020